Steve Toussaint (Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images)
House Of The Dragon star Steve Toussaint has spoken out about the racist abuse he was met with from some Game Of Thrones fans after his casting in the new prequel was announced.
Steve – whose past credits include Doctor Who and Line Of Duty – plays Corlys Velaryon, a brave and adventurous nobleman known as the “Sea Snake”, in the new series.
In the original Game Of Thrones books, the Velaryons are described as having “white skin, ghostly pale hair and purple eyes”.
However, for this new adaptation producers made the decision for the family to be Black, in what was described by Radio Times as an “acknowledgement of the cultural shift that has taken place since Game Of Thrones first emerged in 2011”.
In a new interview with the outlet, Steve shared that he began noticing a racist backlash to his casting almost immediately after it was made public.
Steve Toussaint in character as Lord Corlys Velaryon (Photo: Ollie Upton/HBO via PA Media)
“When they announced [my casting], one of the first things I saw on social media was a drawing of the character [from the books] next to a picture of me,” he revealed. “And then there was the racist abuse that came with that.”
He continued: “I kind of thought, ‘Oh, I get it. When we were criminals and pirates and slaves in the other show, you were OK with that. But as this guy is the richest in the show and he’s a nobleman, now you have a problem with it’.”
Steve added: “I don’t want this to be my story. But I’m not going to deny that it happened. Because it does.
“It’s out there. And it should never be something that puts someone off from doing something they want to do.”
Joining Steve in House Of The Dragon are Paddy Considine, Emma D’Arcy and Matt Smith as members of the Targaryen family.
The new show is set two centuries before the original Game Of Thrones series, which came to a divisive end in 2019.
Read Steve Toussaint’s interview in full in the latest issue of Radio Times.
The cover of this week's Radio Times (Photo: Radio Times)
House Of The Dragon will be available to watch on Sky and Now from Monday 22 August.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.